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Making Plans for GreenGov 2012: Leading by Example

On September 24-26, 2012, the Council on Environmental Quality and the Association of Climate Change Officers will bring together sustainability leaders and newcomers from federal, state, and local governments, academia, non-profits, and the private sector for the third annual GreenGov Symposium

The third annual GreenGov Symposium is taking place in Washington, D.C. September 24 - 26, 2012. Co-hosted by the Council on Environmental Quality and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Symposium will bring sustainability leaders and newcomers in the federal, state, and local government, academic, non-profit and private sectors together to learn from each other, share ideas, and help develop innovative solutions to our energy and sustainability challenges. By design, the Symposium helps the Federal Community save energy, save money, and address our sustainability goals and targets under Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

Now, you can take a look at the preliminary agenda for the Symposium on With ten tracks over two days, the Symposium will have more than 50 informative sessions, including panel discussions with leading experts, best practice case studies, and new concept, 101-education sessions.  And, we are ensuring that some sessions will be webcast to allow those who cannot attend to share in the GreenGov experience. This year we are also hosting post-conference workshops and meetings on September 26, 2012, to allow for additional discussion and training related to sustainability. 

The Symposium is unlike any other annual gathering, designed specifically for the benefit of government employees who are dedicated to helping their agencies and the Federal government lead by example in meeting sustainability targets laid forth by the President.  The work accomplished during the Symposium is beneficial to all levels of government, with initiatives targeting better management and fewer taxpayer dollars spent on government operations.

During this year’s symposium, agencies will have an opportunity to reflect on progress towards the President’s call for Federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades in two years through Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPCs).  The upgrades are done with performance-based contracts that allow for long-term energy savings to pay for the up-front costs, meaning that taxpayer money is not spent on these projects.  ESPCs save taxpayer money in the long-term, as well, with reduced energy bills at federal facilities. The GreenGov Symposium creates a forum for agencies to come together and share with other agencies how they are utilizing this innovative funding mechanism.

ESPCs are just one example of the innovative work that will be included in discussions at the 2012 GreenGov Symposium.   To view the current agenda online and to register, visit

Jon Powers is the Federal Environmental Executive at the White House Council on Environmental Quality